Guide to case management part 6: Tips, tricks, and troubleshooting

This article is part 6 of a series on case management. See the bottom of this article for the other parts in this series.

In this article, we discuss additional tips for working with case management. If you'd like to see a working case management example workflow, you can always jump to the last part of this guide.

Tips and Tricks

Testing a form used in a case

You can test a form as if you had opened it from a case. If your form uses the "caseid" field in an expression (such as a relevance or calculation expression), then when you open the form using the Test view, you will get this popup:


There, you can enter the id value of a case and click OK, so that id value will be used for the value of the field "caseid", and you can test the form as if it was opened from that case.

You can also use the URL to the form. You may have noticed that when you go to the Test view of a form in the online designer, the URL ends with caseid=. At the end of this, simply enter the id of the case, and press enter. Just like in web forms, it will load as if you had opened it from a case. For example, if the URL ends in caseid=4, then while testing that form, the value of ${caseid} will be 4:

Sometimes, the case ID is not applied right away, so click Options > Start over.

Managing large volumes of cases on devices

Long lists of cases can be difficult for enumerators to navigate and find the case they need. Plus, lower-end data collection devices cannot handle loading so many cases at once (see choosing the right device for more information). If there are a large number of cases, make sure you are using the users and/or roles properties. This will make finding cases easier, because each user will see a smaller subset of the full case list, and it will help lower-end devices perform better, since there will be a shorter list of cases to be displayed.

Assign a case using the users property if it should only be completed by a single user, and assign a case using the roles property if multiple users can complete the case. You can set up as many user roles on the server as you need.

Using case management to hide forms

You can also use case management to make sure only certain users can complete and submit certain forms. You can set up a form so that it can only be opened from a case (see part 4, section The "caseid" field), and then assign the form to one or more cases. That way, only the user(s) assigned to those cases will be able to complete the form. For more tips, check out our support article on how to hide forms in SurveyCTO Collect, section 1. Default device configurations and Quick setup.

Only enumerators using the username "enumerator1" will be able to view this case.


Here are a few general case management troubleshooting tips!

Form is not installed

If an enumerator goes to open a form from a case, and it says the form is not installed, enumerators can tap that red text to be brought to the Get Blank Form page to download the form definition. Check out part 3, section Case management views to learn more.

User cannot see the Manage Cases menu

If the Manage Cases menu is not available on the main screen of SurveyCTO Collect, make sure it is turned on.

  1. Tap the three-dot menu in the upper-right.
  2. Tap Admin Settings.
  3. Under User can access Main Menu items, make sure Manage Cases is enabled.

For more details, check out part 3, section On a mobile device.

If the user cannot access the Manage Cases menu in web forms, they may not have a cases dataset assigned to them. See Make sure the correct dataset ID is assigned to the user role below for more information. Also, make sure the users column of the cases dataset has cases assigned to that user (or at least one case has a blank users value).

Columns in the table view for case management appear blank but they have data in the dataset

If you customize a cases dataset, adding and removing columns, remember that the users and roles columns must be present for case management to work properly, even if you're not using either property. If they are missing, this can cause columns in the table view to appear blank.

Missing cases

If a user cannot view the case they need, try the following:

Make sure all cases have all required values: All cases need to have a unique id value, as well as a label, and at least one valid form ID in the formids column.

Make sure users, roles, and enumerators values are correct: If the case that is not appearing has a users or roles value, make sure:

  1. The users value is either blank, or the same as the logged-in user.
  2. The roles value is either blank, or the same as the user's role ID.
  3. The enumerators value is either blank, or the same as the ID of the enumerator currently selected for that workspace. Keep in mind that the enumerators value should contain the enumerator's id, not their name (e.g. 100001 instead of "Adnan").

Make sure the formids are deployed forms on the server: For the case that is not appearing, check its formids list. Make sure at least one of those IDs matches the form ID of a form deployed to your server. It may be that the IDs are not correct, the forms are not deployed yet, or the form belongs to a team the user does not have access to. The Search button near the top of the page can help.

Make sure the correct dataset ID is assigned to the user role: As described in part 5, you can assign a different cases dataset ID to each user role, so different user roles use different cases datasets. Make sure the correct dataset ID is assigned to the case.

  1. On the collection device, in the General Settings (accessible from the three-dot menu in the upper-right) double-check the entered username.
  2. On the Design tab of the server console, check the dataset ID of the cases server dataset.
  3. Go to the Configure tab.
  4. Under Your users, check the user role of the user noted in step 1.
  5. Under User roles and permissions, go to the user role noted in step 4.
  6. Click the triangle on the right, then click Edit.
  7. Note what it says under Please provide the dataset ID for case management.

If this is blank, and the ID cases dataset you would like the user to use is "cases", then this is set up correctly. If that value is the same as the ID of the cases dataset you would like the user to use, then this is also set up correctly.

However, if the value there and the cases dataset ID are different, then there is an issue. The easiest way to fix this is to change the Please provide the dataset ID for case management value to the cases dataset ID. Be careful when you do this, and make sure no other users will be negatively affected by this change. If other users with that user role are using cases without an issue, you may want to create a new user role for the user having issues, and assign that user role the cases dataset they need.

Transferred case not appearing: If a case transfer is complete, but the case is not appearing on the receiving collection device, it is likely because that case has a users, roles, or enumerators value that does not match that workspace. For example, if the enumerator is signed into that workspace as the username "collector1", but the case has a users value of "collector2", then that case will not be visible. It can still be transferred to other devices, but it cannot be worked on using that workspace.

See Make sure users, roles, and enumerators values are correct above for more details.

More on case management

Be sure to check out the other articles in this series on case management.

  1. Introduction: Why it is a good idea to use case management, and examples of where it can be used.
  2. Creating and managing cases: How to create a server dataset that can be used for cases, and how to add and edit your cases.
  3. Collecting data using case management: How to fill out cases forms on both a mobile device and in web forms, and creating automated workflows with case management
  4. Case management workflows: How to identify form instances as being part of a case, and how to publish to and pull data from the cases server dataset.
  5. Multiple cases datasets: How to assign different server datasets to different user roles for case management.
  6. Tips, tricks, and troubleshooting (this article): Additional tips about what can be done with case management, as well as how to troubleshoot when something is not working.
  7. Example - Publishing to a case, and retrieving from that case: Walking you through a case management example, including pulling from and publishing to a cases server dataset.

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